IRS Employees Plan for Furlough
While most Americans are planning for Memorial Day – and may skip work on Friday, May 24, to get an early start on the holiday – the employees of the Internal Revenue Service will be taking that Friday off as an unpaid furlough day.
Kelly Phillips Erb writes in Forbes that the entire IRS workforce: nearly 100,000 workers, will be furloughed for the day. The IRS will shut down completely, taxpayers and practitioners will not have access to IRS resources. On those days, calls will not be answered, no returns will be processed or refunds issued, and all IRS offices will be closed.
May 24 is the first of five scheduled furlough days for the IRS workforce. The move is the result of those automatic cuts to the budget due to sequestration. National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) President Colleen M. Kelley has previously said, about the cuts, “furloughing IRS employees is further evidence of the ongoing damage sequestration is causing across the country.”
The remaining scheduled furlough days are: June 14, July 5, July 22, and August 30. Each of the furlough days will result in a loss to IRS employees of between $160 to $400 in pay, depending on the employee’s position. For many, the round of cuts follows three years of pay freezes.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees are also facing up to 14 unpaid furlough days. According to Kelley, the CBP collects more government revenue than any agency other than the IRS. By the numbers, currently, the IRS brings in 93% of the revenue used to fund the federal government. Shutting down both the IRS and CBP offices means that revenue will not be collected on those days. The wisdom of sporadically shutting down the government’s main sources of revenue collections during an economic slowdown has been questioned but so far, the furloughs remain in place.
Source: Forbes Magazine